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Essay on Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

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Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

 
    Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie gives readers a look into a truly dysfunctional family.  At first it could seem as if their lives are anything but normal, but Amanda's "impulse to preserve her single-parent family seems as familiar as the morning newspaper" (Presley 53).  The Wingfield's are a typical family just struggling to get by.  Their problems, however, stem from their inability to effectively communicate with each other.  Instead of talking out their differences, they resort to desperate acts.  The desperation that the Wingfields embrace has led them to create illusions in their minds and in turn become deceptive.  Amanda, Tom, and Laura are caught up in a web of desperation, denial, and deception, and it is this entrapment that prevents them, as it would any family, from living productive and emotionally fulfilling lives together.

          Amanda Wingfield's life has not ended up as she would have wished.  She states, "I wasn't prepared for what the future brought me" (Williams 720).  According to Delma E. Presley, "If Amanda appears desperate, she certainly has a legitimate reason" (37).  First of all, she has a daughter, Laura, that is dependent upon her for everything.  She is afraid that Laura will end up a "little birdlike [woman] without any nest-eating the crust of humility" for the rest of her life (Williams 700). She also has a...


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...e and Literature 34.3 (Summer 1998): 250-272.  ProQuest.  Jacobs Library, Oglesby, IL. 11 July 2000. .

Jolemore, Nancy.  "Lecture Notes and Study Guide Questions for Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie."  Old Dominion University.  18 January 2000.  29 June 2000. .

Keltner, Norman L., Lee Hilyard Schwecke, and Carol E. Bostrom.  Psychiatric Nursing.  3rd ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1999.

Presley, Delma E.  An American Memory.  Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.

Reser, Rob.  "A Touch of Glass."  29 June 2000. .

Williams, Tennessee.  The Glass Menagerie.  Literature and The Writing Process. 5th ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice, 1999.  693-734.


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